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Spring Cleaning 2019

Last year, about this same time, we were elbow deep in Spring Cleaning projects.

I had put together posts for spring cleaning plans for bathrooms and bedrooms. Next on my list was Kitchens (the worst room of all!) and Living Areas.

But I never got to it.

I never finished my own spring cleaning. I never published a <2 part> plan for tackling kitchens and a plan for living areas.

I disappeared from my blog and resided in hibernation until just recently.

Pushing through spring cleaning last year was a struggle. I started the project ON FIRE!! So full of motivation and energy thanks to the beautiful weather, and addition of beaming sunshine to our days. Then, seemingly overnight, I was so physically tired I honestly wondered if something was wrong with me.

Come to find out…I was pregnant.

Extreme fatigue was my biggest first (and well in to second) trimester pregnancy symptom. When I say extreme, I mean EXTREME. Not just “I need a little nap and I’ll feel better”. This was more like “how is it possible to be this tired and not be dead?” tired.

Thinking about moving a finger required effort.

Plus I had two toddlers to contend with.

I didn’t make a conscious decision to abandon the blog without one word. Truth is I was in freak out mode considering my pregnancy history. Plus extreme fatigue. Plus two toddlers.

I sort of resorted to doing the bare minimum around the house and garden (the garden was already planted – an effort I didn’t want to see completely wasted) and spent the rest of the time with my feet up…or I tried.

And, let us get real, the bare minimum around the house and garden and managing a family still requires a lot.

So, here we are. Spring 2019.

Do you have Spring Cleaning plans?

I’d like to think I do, but I’m really striving to be a realist at this point.

Executing a Spring Cleaning plan like the ones I posted last year would require three weeks without any children.

One week prior to rest up and recharge the batteries so I have enough energy and stamina to get through the various tasks.

One week to execute said plan.

One week on the back end to rest and get myself back together.

Since none of that will be an option my new plan is this: I’m going to do a little extra in each room, when time permits.

And I’m going to call it GOOD.

Because this is the season of life that I’m in and I’m going to embrace it!

If you want to really get after it and need some inspiration or ideas to get organized, here are the posts from last year:

Spring Cleaning, De-clutter & Organize
Spring Cleaning Bedrooms
Spring Cleaning Bathrooms

I’ll also get a post together for Living Areas and a 2 Part plan for Spring Cleaning Kitchens (plans I won’t be following myself, not this year anyway).

I’m curious: where do you stand with Spring Cleaning this year? Ready to get down and really tackle it like a pro, or doing a little extra and calling it good?

Spring Cleaning Bathroom Plan & Giveaway Deadline Reminder

Shortly after my post about Spring Cleaning published last week, a dear friend outreached with a request. She wondered if I could give more instruction. If I could talk about what tasks land on my ‘to do’ list and ultimately how I tackle these sorts of projects. She admitted that while her mother would deny to the very end, she never really taught her about deep cleaning. The general vacuuming and dusting and swabbing down the bathroom – check! But, once (or twice) a year really doing it up right – not so much. So today I will kick off a series, walking you through my Spring cleaning checklists. Starting first with my Spring Cleaning Bathroom Plan.

Please note that I fully recognize your home – and bathrooms – aren’t likely the same as mine. This is simply a rundown of how I will tackle my Spring Cleaning Bathroom Plan. You can use this as a guide for your own bathrooms, making modifications based on how your home is built.

If you are curious, I have three bathrooms. One with a tub/shower. One with a shower/shower door. One powder room with only a toilet and vanity.

As I talked about in the post last week, gathering the necessary supplies prior to getting started will help streamline the process. No unnecessary running back and forth to grab the items needed next.

Spring Cleaning Bathroom Supplies Needed

  • Tile/Grout shower and tub cleaner
  • Glass cleaner
  • All purpose cleaner (a concentrated formula, I like one with bleach personally)
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Scouring pads
  • Mr Clean magic eraser
  • Small brush (an old toothbrush works well, I keep old ones around marked for “cleaning”)
  • Rags (either disposable or those that can be washed and re-used. Old cut-up t-shirts, wash cloths or small towels darner my collection)
  • Small bucket for water/cleaning solution
  • Paper towels
  • Broom
  • Medium bucket for rags (if not disposable)
  • Basket for items not belonging in bathroom
  • Trash bag
  • Step-stool
  • Washing Machine/Detergent/White Vinegar
  • Kitchen Sink/Hot Water/Dish Soap
  • New shower curtain liner
  • New toilet brush
    Tips/Tricks: I like to keep my most commonly used Spring Cleaning items in a tote so they are mostly gathered anytime I start a new room. Also, when I purchase new items (toilet brushes, shower curtain liners, etc.) they have a ‘home’ until they are needed and don’t clutter up another place in the house.

Spring Cleaning Bathroom Plan of Attack

  1. Start by taking down the shower curtain and liner and gather the bathroom rugs. Also remove globes from light fixture and vent fan cover. Clear off shower caddy if you have one. Empty trash into trash bag. Load up trashcan with aforementioned items to haul to kitchen.
    Tips/Tricks: toss that shower curtain liner right in the trash – NOW is a good time to hang a fresh one.
  2. Fire up the washing machine with the above items. You may need to do two loads pending the size and colors of the items involved.
    Tips/Tricks: using white vinegar in place of fabric softener will not only soften these items but will help bust through any sour smells that tend to linger on bathroom items. I promise the smell of vinegar rinses right out!
  3. Fill kitchen sink with hot, soapy water and allow globes from light fixture, vent fan cover, and shower caddy to soak.
  4. Wet down shower and spray with tile/tub/grout cleaner – let sit. Do the same with shower doors if you have those instead of a curtain. Douse inside of toilet with toilet cleaner.
  5. Run broom across all 90 degree angles in room (i.e. where walls meet ceiling, corners of walls) to knock down any cobwebs
  6. Fill small bucket with warm water and all purpose cleaner.
  7. Using a rag, wipe down walls working top to bottom. Hit the light fixture and any décor that can be wiped down while you’re at it. Don’t forget the tops of door jams and window trim. When done, toss rag (either into trash or bucket for later laundering), and pour out water/cleaning solution. Rinse bucket.
    Tips/Tricks: I only wipe down walls in the bathrooms that have a shower. The constant humidity in those rooms from baths and showers causes dirt/dust to stick to the walls. This is not so much the case in powder rooms with only a toilet and sink. I may add this task for our powder room another round of deep cleaning — but Spring Cleaning has enough to address!
  8. Return to shower/tub. Re-wet the first wall you intend to tackle and spray a new dose of cleaner. Then, using scouring pad, brush and lots of elbow grease, begin scrubbing tile paying special attention to the tile grout. Work top to bottom. Once clean, rinse with fresh water. Repeat until all walls (and shower door, including track) are done.
  9. Rinse tub (or shower floor), re-apply cleaner and give this area a good scrub. Rinse with fresh water.
  10. Re-fill small bucket with warm water and all purpose cleaner.
  11. Scrub inside of toilet with old toilet brush. Flush. Toss toilet brush into trash (when all bathrooms are complete).
  12. Using a new <disposable> rag, wipe down entire outside of toilet. Toss rag into trash. Pour out water/cleaning solution. Rinse bucket.
  13. Re-fill bucket with warm water and all purpose cleaner.
  14. Wet down sink and spray with Tile/Grout/Tub Cleaner
  15. Wipe down counter
  16. Scour sink and around faucet (the small brush comes in handy here too!).
  17. Return to laundry room and hang shower curtain and rugs outside or dry, or toss in dryer.
  18. Stop by kitchen sink and wash light fixture globes, vent fan cover and shower caddy. Wash inside and outside of trashcan. Set them aside to dry.
  19. Return to bathroom and empty vanity. Wipe down inside drawers and cabinets. With a critical eye, go through all products, trashing those that are outdated or are unlikely to ever be used again. Consider if some of your towels and washcloths have paid their dues and are ready to become part of your rag collection. Put items that belong in another room in the basket.
    Tips/Tricks: If you haven’t used it in the last year, you are unlikely to ever do so again. Toss it!
  20. With items now purged, return what’s left to the vanity in an organized fashion.
  21. Wipe down outside of vanity. Pour out water/cleaning solution. Rinse bucket. Toss rag (into trash if disposable, into bucket if laundering for later use).
  22. Shine up any glass with glass cleaner and paper towels (i.e. windows, mirrors, glass shelves, etc.)
    Tips/Tricks: a clean rag can also be used here. I prefer paper towels for this particular task – because that’s how my mama taught me!
  23. Re-fill bucket with water/cleaning solution.
  24. Sweep bathroom floor.
  25. Using a new rag and lots of arm power, wipe down bathroom floor (remember baseboards). If you have tile, again, lots of attention paid to grout lines.
    Tips/Tricks: a Mr Clean Magic Eraser makes quick(er) work of those grout lines.
  26. Pour out water/cleaning solution. Rinse bucket. Toss rag (into trash if disposable, into bucket if laundering for later use).
  27. While floor is drying, gather items that were earlier laundered and washed in the kitchen.
  28. Return light fixture globes to light fixture. Hang vent van cover. Return shower caddy to shower with essential showering items only. Hang freshly laundered shower curtain with new shower curtain liner and re-position rugs. Add a fresh trash can liner and return it to its normal spot.
  29. Gather cleaning supplies and put away in their storage spot. Run trash outside.
    Tips/Tricks: rags that I will be laundering gather in a basket once they have dried in the laundry room and once I complete all Spring cleaning I wash one load – with bleach. Yes, that’s a LOT of rags. 
  30. Address items in “other room” basket.
    Tips/Tricks: I put away items that belong somewhere else IF that ‘somewhere else’ is where the item actually lives. If it doesn’t yet have a permanent home I leave it in the basket until a permanent home can be created — otherwise clutter is created elsewhere in the house and the item(s) are likely to end up back in that basket as I’m Spring Cleaning through the house

Are you exhausted just reading this? I know! It looks like a LOT of steps = a LOT of work.

Truth is, it IS a lot of work. That’s sort of the spirit behind a once (or twice) a year cleaning.

Here’s what I can promise you though: preparation/planning on the front end will help the project go much faster than you anticipate. Remember the concept of time & motion. Make every move count! Unnecessary tips down the stairs or hallway to grab forgotten items only drags the project out and serves to zap some of your energy. Spring Cleaning Bathroom plan of attack actually goes faster than you might initially think (provided you can stay focused). You will feel SOOOO accomplished and love your fabulously clean space when you finish!

Who is ready to tackle their bathrooms Spring cleaning style this week?

Also…just a reminder of the giveaway that you must have your name in for by Thursday of this week! Already have your name in the hat? Great! Refer a friend to sign up to follow the blog and I’ll give ya an extra entry slot (comment on a post with the name of the friend you referred – or share my blog post on your FB account being sure to tag me so I see it).

-H

 

Bathroom Photo Credit: Photo by Chastity Cortijo on Unsplash

Spring Cleaning, De-clutter & Organize

Spring has arrived!

Despite the official arrival of Spring being marked as March 20th, it is just now resonating with me.

Of course, Spring in Colorado means lots of different weather shifts. Sometimes all in the same 24-hours. But, we enjoyed a rich and warm day with the sun flying high in the sky yesterday. As a result, I’m all hopped up on energy and motivation that can only come from the warm weather and sunshine after a long, cold winter.

Renewed energy and motivation!

Spring Cleaning Time!!

Do you plan a major de-clutter, organization and/or cleaning operation around this time of year?

I do.

This year more than any other.

The addition of our two little foster kiddos caused the wheels to sort of fall off the cart last Fall. There was a lot of adjustment period. A lot of chaos. So much fatigue I sometimes wonder how I made it out alive.

As the months progressed and these little ones grew, so did the piles of stuff. Everywhere.

Soooo….the time has arrived. Time to throw open the windows and turn up the tunes.

But first!

Maybe you need a plan of action, as do I, so that you can be prepared and stay focused as you work your way through the project at hand? Knowing exactly what needs to be done, and what tools and supplies you will need at the ready will help the project move along much more smoothly

I designed these adorable Spring Cleaning planning cards. A plain old sheet of paper will also do…but look how pretty!

Or this version that’s a little simpler and cleaner without the additional flowers at the top:

As you prepare for your very own Operation Spring Cleaning:

  • Begin by going room to room and jotting down each task that will need your attention.
  • Determine what supplies will be needed to accomplish the tasks
  • Gather supplies (which may involve a little bit of shopping to pick up necessities) – a bucket with necessities saves trips to and from wherever your cleaning products are normally stored.
  • Work your way through one room at a time, ticking off tasks as you go

The one room at a time rule is so important for me. The reason being, and maybe you can relate, is that leaving one room with an item belonging somewhere else (say, the linen closet, for example) sometimes results in a ripple effect that looks like this:

Item in bedroom belongs in linen closet –> linen closet needs organized –> “oh, I can just straighten this quickly” –> entire linen closet emptied on to hallway floor, bedroom still not clean, time to start dinner followed quickly by bedtime routine.

And this scenario can be true of any room/closet/cupboard in the house.

A trick I use is to have a laundry basket at the ready. Anything not belonging in the room I’m working lands in the basket. Items in the basket might determine the next area of the house to get my attention, but I don’t bother with those items until I’m ready to work in the area they belong OR if the area they belong has already been organized and I can quickly put them away I do so after my area of focus is complete.

They say the New Year is an opportune time for ‘fresh starts’. I happen to think Spring affords the same opportunity. A literal clean and fresh start for the place you call home.

Join me this month (and maybe next!) with Operation Spring Clean <and de-clutter and organize>.

And because I’m geeked out about this kind of stuff, Simply Writeous is hosting a GIVEAWAY! Simply sign up to follow the blog via email and be entered for a chance to win a dozen of these pretty Spring Cleaning planning cards!!

For those who already follow, drop me a comment in the comments section below so I know you want entered for a chance to win.

Signing up is easy. Simply enter your email address in the box at the top right of the Simply Writeous homepage and click subscribe. You will never receive SPAM as a result of sharing your email address with me!

Join!

Share with your friends and ask them to join!

A random drawing will happen on the 19th of April with winner announced on the 20th!

Happy cleaning!